Off-Pump heart surgery or "Beating Heart" surgery is a surgical procedure performed to treat narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. Traditionally, heart bypass surgery was performed with the help of a heart lung machine to stabilize the heart and maintain the blood supply to the body during the surgery. Off-Pump surgery, a minimally invasive approach, is now performed without the use of a heart lung machine, with the heart actively beating.
The goal of off-pump heart surgery is to relieve the symptoms of coronary artery disease and improve the blood flow to the heart. During the procedure, a 2 to 3-inch incision is made over the chest wall, between the ribs. A healthy vein or artery is taken from the patient's chest, leg or arm and used as a graft around the blocked artery. This allows the blood to "bypass" the blockage and flow freely to the heart muscle. A special device is used to stabilize the heart while the heart is still beating and pumping blood to the body.
The potential benefits of minimally invasive off-pump heart surgery may include the following:
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stay
- Minimal bleeding
- Reduced risk of stroke and kidney failure
- Lower risk of infection
- Reduced need for blood transfusions
- Lower risk of an irregular heartbeat
It can also be performed on high risk patients with other co-morbid diseases such as lung disease, kidney failure and peripheral vascular disease.
Baylor Heart Hospital